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I had a 10" stainless barrel slab sided. Did wonders for balance and I imagine the increase in velocity helped with the bowling pins. But, the stainless gave the gunsmith fits with his lathe bits.

I've tried many of those 22 handguns and for pure pleasure in shooting along with accuracy, I'd have to recommend a used, older S&W 41 with the longer barrel.
 
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Look for a Buckmark or an older Hi Standard H-D Military. You love either one~!
I've owned Hi Standards for over 45 years as well as S&W 41s, and SA Colts. I've always preferred the Hi Standards and felt that for the money they are unbeatable. I like the feel in your hand, the pointability, and the reliability. I do have a couple of the later "Supermatic Citations" in mint condition, but my preference for an all around fun .22 is and will always be my HD Military models with the 4-1/2" barrels.
 

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I recently bought a Rock Island 1911 in 9MM. It's really a well made all steel firearm and is fun to shoot. I'd like to know where to buy a slide, barrel, recoil spring, bushing, and magazine to have a quick conversion to .22. Does anyone know where I can buy the necessary parts~?
 

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I'd be interested in thoughts from persons who shoot .22 LR auto pistols with regularity. I haven't owned one for years, but I can see that such a pistol would be a great help in getting my wife to (re)learn the fundamentals of trigger squeeze, sight picture, breathing, etc, before transitioning to a center-fire defensive pistol.
I'm INCLINED to go with a Ruger 22/45, since it most closely resembles my P-35 (the 9mm pistol that she shoots best). Other possibilities are the Browning Buckmark or a Hi-Standard non-target pistol. I haven't researched other possibilities yet, but intend to. Price is A factor, but not THE ONLY factor. I MUST stay under $500, and prefer to stay south of $400. If the .22 LR auto pistol shooters on this forum know of another brand besides those mentioned with which they've had particularly good results, I'd appreciate the input.
Thanks in advance.
Personally I would say you need to have her lay fingers on them. In another post you said you wanted something that was close to a 1911 or your browning.

The finger on product thing first

Story time:

I wanted a "good" 22 pistol, and read nothing but good around the S&W 41. That they are just flat fantastic.....I don't know if they are or not, because after I saved all my pennies and went to buy one I picked it up and hated everything about it....it is way too fat for my little hands. Well darn, Bought a nice early 22 colt automatic pistol first, what is usually called a "pre woodsman".

This is why she needs to lay fingers on it. You just might have it pictured in your head and then when you touch it, no it is just not quite for me.

Another story:

I had saved my pennies again this time for a "real" Gibson Les Paul guitar, now if you don't know guitars this thing comes in at roughly $3k, and goes north from there. It is to be the end all and be all of this type of guitar. The one I was looking at was right around $6k. I walk into the mom and pop shop I go to for this kind of thing, and no I never played one before, I am strange that way, if I touch it and like it I will put it on the card, and I don't want to do that so no touchie till I can buy. So I say hay I finally want that LP. You sure.....sure I am sure. Ok do this first....sit here close your eyes, and I will hand you a couple guitars.....ok, whatever, I will humor the old guy. He hands me three guitars, one I hate, one I love, one I hate again. He haded me the $6200 LP I was looking at, a $600 Epiphone LP and a $12k Gibson. No way.....I left with the Epi. I will do it a dis service, but will call Epiphone the "budget" brand of Gibson. In the guitar world they call it buying the name on the head stock and not the guitar.

As to the 22 pistol, if you want a 1911 style of pistol, checkout the GSG/Sig version (same gun), like most things some people hate them, but there are many that like it, you just have to understand if you don't clean it every 200 rounds it flat will not run. It must be clean....keep it nice and clean and you will have no issues. One of the few guns I must clean after every outing, as I will know the next trip out it will just flat not run.

There is also the little browning 1911 in 22. It is like a 2/3 version of a "real" 1911, so it will not be quite right, but darn they are good looking and well made little guns.
 

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I have a S&W Victory. It is super easy to clean and very accurate. I bought it as it was about $100 cheaper than the Ruger Mark 4. Mine works with all ammo. Never a jam or FTF. I love shooting it. My only problem with it is I think it is ugly. I just don't like the looks of it.
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I have a cheap red dot on mine and can get consistent one-hole groups at 15 feet.
Agree. Bought mine 2 years ago & tested with many brands of ammo. Never failed & incredible groups from a short barrel. I paid just under 400.
 
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